Over the same period, Brazilian beef exports are expected to rise 24 percent, to total 1.88 million MT. Poultry meat production is also forecast to rise 20 percent for the next decade, to 16.2 million MT, with domestic consumption rising to 103.4 pounds per person per year. Brazilian pig meat production is expected to total 3.98 million MT by 2022, an increase of 17 percent for the decade.

According to OECD-FAO, Argentinean beef production is forecast to gradually increase to 3.2 million MT by 2022, an increase of 21 percent on the previous decade.

Argentinean beef domestic consumption should remain as one of the highest in the world, expected to average 93 pounds per person per year. Interestingly, exports are forecast to jump 182 percent, to total 526,000 MT per year by 2022.

Uruguayan and Paraguayan beef production is also expected to grow, up 30 percent and 46 percent, respectively. Uruguayan exports should account for 73 percent of production, totaling 482,000 MT per year by 2022, while Paraguayan exports are forecast to increase 52 percent in the coming decade.




Technical barriers to trade are costing the Australian beef industry $1.25 billion annually, delegates at the AgForce Southern Inland Queensland Regional Forum were told recently.


Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) managing director Scott Hansen told delegates that removing technical barriers to trade would be a key MLA focus in the coming years.

He said the barriers were being imposed by countries importing Australian beef to improve the competitiveness of their own industries. “These include things like a reduction in the days that Australian beef is allowed to be on the shelf when our research has shown that Australian beef can safely be on the shelf for a lot longer,” he said.

“We think the situation is so dire that we are considering spending levy (checkoff) money to get some people with technical skills to assist the government when they are negotiating to address these issues.

“The impact technical barriers to trade are having on our industry certainly has the potential to dampen the optimism we feel about growing markets such as China,” Hansen said.

He added that signing free-trade agreements with such nations as South Korea must also be a priority for the federal government.

The U.S. signed a free-trade deal with South Korea in 2012 and will be tariff-free by 2026. Hansen said the cost of a failed trade agreement with South Korea would cost the Australian beef industry $1.25 billion annually.

“We need to make sure the federal government gets in quickly to seal some of these free trade agreements.”

Deputy Leader of the Opposition and Federal Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Julie Bishop has pledged to make signing a free-trade agreement with South Korea a priority should the coalition win government on Sept. 14.

Meanwhile, while slaughter has been surging, exports have been tracking at a record pace for the year, with preliminary forecasts for 2013 volumes to exceed the 963,000 MT record set in 2012.

Continued strong demand in China, the Middle East and other developing markets has offset subdued demand from Korea and Japan, although these markets are still large outlets for Australian beef.




Steer prices in Brazil increased across most markets last month, averaging $0.61 per pound (USD) in Sao Paulo state, with wholesale prices also reportedly rising.

Brazilian beef exports during June totaled 91,600 MT, up 10 percent year-on-year but down 3.8 percent on the previous month.

Stronger demand from the domestic market, especially for forequarter cuts, contributed to higher wholesale prices, with processors reportedly facing a tighter supply of slaughter-ready cattle.

Brazilian beef exports during the first five months of 2013 surged 29 percent year-on-year, to 437,301 MT, with increased shipments to Hong Kong (up 131 percent, to 84,022 MT) and Russia (up 11 percent, to 129,841 MT).

Assisting the higher exports so far in 2013 has been the weaker Brazilian currency, which recently fell to a two-year low, at 46 cents per one real.




Two major transactions have recently highlighted the rising food demand in China. Earlier this month, Smithfield Foods, a producer and marketer of fresh meat and packaged meat products, agreed to be acquired by China’s Shuanghui International Holdings Limited.

Then, Campbell Soup announced that it will acquire Denmark-based Kelsen Group to boost its presence in China.

The past decade of Chinese industrialization led to rising income levels, resulting in a change in dietary habits and raising food demand. In addition, China is now moving from an export and investment-led growth model to a consumer-led growth model.

This should further increase demand for food products. If the past decade was all about China’s appetite for metals, the next decade is probably going to be all about the country’s rising food demand as its vast population gets richer.

The Smithfield-Shuanghui transaction will boost Smithfield’s pork exports to China. The transaction also addresses another major issue: food safety in China.

Larry Pope, CEO of Smithfield, described the transaction as great for shareholders, as well as for American farmers and U.S. agriculture. Shuanghui Chairman Wan Long noted that the acquisition offers Smithfield the opportunity to expand its offerings to China through Shuanghui’s distribution network.

Given the weak demand for meat products in the U.S., the transaction is a win-win for both companies.

However, it is not just meat and farm products that are seeing increasing demand in China, as highlighted by Campbell Soup’s acquisition of Kelsen Group. Kelsen is a market leader in the assortment segment of the sweet biscuits category in China, according to Campbell.

Kelsen’s sales in China have grown at a compound rate of above 28 percent in the last three years. Denise Morrison, president and CEO of Campbell, noted that Kelsen will give the former a solid platform for growth in baked snacks in China.



European Union

The European Union is set to save billions of euros over the next seven years by slashing farm subsidy payments by nearly half.

After representatives of the European Parliament, EU governments and the European Commission thrashed out a deal in Luxembourg, leaders provisionally agreed to axe payments to farms by a maximum of 40 percent between 2014 and 2020, when the complex set of reforms come into force.  end mark

Clint Peck is former director of Montana’s Beef Quality Assurance program.